Accuracy in Media

BuzzFeed News attacked President Donald Trump when he told the press that he takes doses of the hydroxychloroquine drug to prevent a coronavirus infection after several White House staffers tested positive for the coronavirus in recent weeks.

The website headlined their criticism, “Trump Said He’s Taking Hydroxychloroquine To Try To Prevent COVID-19 In Spite Of An FDA Warning.” Like other news outlets in the mainstream media, BuzzFeed News emphasized that the FDA has not approved it for treating coronavirus patients and “warned could cause life-threatening side effects.” It also pointed out that although there “is currently no cure for COVID-19,” several studies “have had mixed results” about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in coronavirus treatments.

BuzzFeed News later reiterated that Trump “repeatedly touted” the drug as a possible treatment “despite medical authorities having mixed success with the drug.”

But the website did not acknowledge that some front-line medical workers are taking doses of hydroxychloroquine as a part of their preventative infection efforts. BuzzFeed News also failed to raise the possibility that hydroxychloroquine could be combined with other drugs to effectively treat coronavirus patients, which has been suggested by some experts. For example, the National Institutes of Health began a clinical trial of treating moderate coronavirus patients with a combination of hydroxychloroquine and antibiotic drug azithromycin.

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